Congratulations 2024 Graduates

Congratulations 2024 Graduates

Tahlepa sipokni tuklo pokoli tuklo akucha ushta aiikhvna hlopulli vhleha holitoblichi

Published April 29, 2024

By Chief Gary Batton

Audio in Choctaw Language

In the past decade, the Choctaw Nation has issued approximately 98,600 scholarship awards to more than 30,000 students totaling more than $90.7 million! I mention these awesome and impactful numbers because our commitment to education is the foundation of the future of the Choctaw Nation. Without education, we can’t innovate and be a progressive tribe that will be ready for what the future has in store.

We rely on future, educated generations of Chahta to keep the tribe moving ahead so that the tribe will remain on the cutting edge of education, technology, innovation, healthcare, and project planning. The best offense for what the future has in store is an educated tribe that can navigate whatever lies ahead. While we need new ideas and innovations, the main reason the tribe emphasizes education is to help transform lives and families so they can have a better life than we had.

As graduation season commences soon, graduates should take a moment to look back on their education investment. The long hours of work put in to get you to this moment is something no one can take away from you. The feeling of being handed that diploma and reaching the finish line of your educational journey is both emotional and prideful of a job well done. Enjoy this moment, remember it, and know that there is nothing you can’t accomplish through hard work and determination.

Take a moment to reflect on your outstanding accomplishment, but then also pause to cast your eyes to the future to consider your next steps as a new graduate. What will you do with your degree? Where do you want to go? How will your education make a better future for you and society? I would like to invite all new graduates to first look at the Choctaw Nation Careers website for job considerations. Your tribe needs your work ethic and brain power to push the Choctaw Nation into the future. We are a sovereign, progressive tribe that can only remain that way through the efforts of future generations who will bring new, innovative ideas. Said another way, new graduates, your intellect, and educational degree are important sovereign-success tools for the Choctaw Nation and our reservation.

The reason for the Choctaw Nation investment into education is an easy one to calculate. We want the Choctaw Nation to be known for our education programs. We want to be known for the number of students we help graduate each year. We want to be known for our innovations and progress as a tribe. Our tribe counts on you to spread the word as education ambassadors to let the world know that we stand with you in your educational endeavors.

My hope is that you find fulfilling employment following your graduation. I hope that you had a lifetime of memories that you made during your education journey. Some of the best times and best friends I made were in the classroom and the activities that surrounded my time in school. I hope you had the same life-changing experiences and found your true calling during your school years.

Congratulations again to all the 2024 graduates, it is now time to get out there and change the world!

Yakoke and God Bless!